9 simple ways to manage global QA teams

Software testing and Quality assurance are the heart and soul of every project; the linchpin acting between the software development team and the end users.  It is the first gateway towards end user satisfaction.

Increasingly, the bulk of software testing and quality assurance activities is done across remote locations. This calls for great coordination effort among teams to work without friction.

Here are 9 simple tips for managers to ensure seamless collaboration and functioning of their diversely distributed QA teams.

Send an email at the start of the work day – Irrespective of the location you are in, start the day by clearly communicating in writing the objectives for the day. A single email with the following items can go a long way in improving the team’s efficiency:

  • Instructions on what needs to be achieved that day
  • Brief about what was achieved previous day
  • List of items carried over from previous day

Daily QA checkpoint – Having a daily call with the QA team is an excellent practice to bring the most out of them. This can be as simple as a 15 min meeting similar to the daily huddle in Agile. Keep meetings as short as possible and be respectful of everyone’s time. If a meeting is not needed, then you cancel it early.

Feedback – Always provide immediate feedback. Both positive and negative feedback should be provided immediately to have maximum effect. This also promotes morale within the team. Praise in public and keep negative feedback private. The key in feedback is to ensure the person is not criticized.

Version Control – Ensure there is a version controlling system in place so that no changes done by diverse teams go wasted.  Having a common repository where all testing artifacts are maintained is a good practice to avoid redundancies and reduce complexities.

Status Update – At the end of each remote team’s work day, ensure that the team members clearly communicate through email what was accomplished for the day, and what tasks are pending. Likewise, at the end of your (onsite) work day, send an email to the offshore team stating completed tasks and listing new objectives. This routine will greatly minimize hours spent together on calls.

Common Objectives – Setting clear objectives that need to be accomplished is a key to get the most out of your team. The key is everyone irrespective of location should be working towards the same objectives. Setting this vision for the team promotes team harmony and increases morale.

Learning opportunities – With the explosion in information and competition, everyone needs to be on the path of continuous improvement. One of the best things you can do as a leader is to provide learning opportunities for your team. Encourage them to learn by providing them resources that you are aware. Share articles, blogs and any podcasts that have helped you. Also, encourage the team to document what they have learnt and organize training sessions to share their individual learnings.

Customer Interaction – It is a great practice to introduce everyone in the offshore team to the customer. This gives them a sense of belonging and helps them understand the big picture which eventually leads to better performance.

Celebration – Fun events and celebrations are a great way to boost morale and enhance team harmony. Teams need to really understand when things are going well. Keep celebrating through dinners, emails and any other form of recognition which boosts the team to ensure peak performance is enhanced.

Better team management increases team harmony and improved results. This will finally lead to organizational focus and higher customer satisfaction.

 

 

Shyam Ramanathan

Director of Software Quality Assurance, North America Delivery Head, Virtusa. Shyam has been working in the Quality Assurance world for over 15 years, where he has developed a breadth of knowledge and experience in test management, planning, design, execution, and establishing global delivery teams across geographies and building test Center of Excellence. Experienced Leader in QA/testing services and successfully executed many large engagements. Shyam has focused on the Insurance industry, his clients include Fortune 500 companies. His responsibilities range from business development, project management, program management, QA management, relationship management and partner strategies to technical oversight and delivering creative solutions. He has also a PMP, Certified Six Sigma Green Belt, Associate In General Insurance and Associate in Commercial Underwriting certifications. He has run 5 half marathons and one 25k run. He is an avid blogger and loves reading business books. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering from University of Madras in India.

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